A former congressional aide facing federal child pornography charges was found dead at his Sykesville family's home in an apparent suicide, Carroll County sheriff's officials said Friday.
Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, former chief of staff to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, was found unresponsive by family members about noon Thursday in the basement of the home, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland, said Loskarn's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging.
Sheriff's officials said Loskarn had been living with his family at the home in the 6400 block of Kenmar Drive since December, when a judge ordered that he live under his parents' supervision.
U.S. postal agents arrested Loskarn last month on suspicion of possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography, according to federal court records. Alexander, who is seeking a third term this year, fired Loskarn after his arrest.
"For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end," Alexander said in a statement.
No one answered the door Friday afternoon at the family home, which sits at the end of a dead-end street in a quiet Sykesville neighborhood. No police were present, but four news organizations were at the scene.
Pamela S. Satterfield, Loskarn's attorney, declined to comment Friday.
Loskarn, who went by the name of Ryan, previously worked for Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican. He also served as communications director for the Senate Republican Conference.
According to federal court records, Loskarn was born and raised in Maryland. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans and spent most of his professional life working on Capitol Hill. He had been living in a home in Southeast Washington that he has owned since 2009 until a judge required that he move in with his parents.
The investigation that led to Loskarn's arrest began in 2010. According to a statement of facts filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service began investigating a movie production company that offered DVDs and streaming videos for sale, most of which featured young nude boys.
A review of customer invoices and purchase summaries, as well as postal service records, led authorities to believe Loskarn had made several purchases between November 2010 and March 2011, court records said.
Early in October, postal inspectors identified Loskarn's IP address on a network offering files with names that were consistent with child pornography.
On Dec. 11, investigators executed a search warrant at Loskarn's Washington home. When no one answered, officers rammed the door. According to court records, as investigators went in, one noticed Loskarn leaning out a second-floor window and placing something on the ledge before closing the window. It was found to be a portable hard drive, court documents said. A computer forensic examiner inspected the hard drive and found child pornography, documents state.
On Dec. 12, Loskarn was charged with possessing child pornography and attempting to distribute child pornography.
His attorneys asked that the judge release Loskarn to his family. In a memorandum in support of his pretrial release, Loskarn's attorneys said his professional history and community ties should be considered.
"He has no history of drug or alcohol abuse and Mr. Loskarn's background suggests that he is a decent, hardworking, loyal employee, friend and family member," Loskarn's attorneys said in a court filing. His attorneys suggested that Loskarn submit to law enforcement monitoring, surrender his passport and undergo a mental health evaluation.
A judge agreed with the stipulations and ordered him confined to his parents' home 24 hours a day, except for court- or health-related matters.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola placed Loskarn in a "high intensity supervision program" and prohibited him from using the Internet, which his parents promised to enforce.
In a statement Friday, Chuck and Gay Loskarn told other news organizations, "We loved our son very much, and we're devastated by his death. Please respect our privacy at this difficult time and let us grieve in peace. Pray for him, his family and friends."
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